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Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

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Title: Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation  
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Subject: Greenwich Village, SoHo, Manhattan, NoHo, East Village, Manhattan
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Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
File:GVSHP Logo.jpg
Formation 1980
Headquarters New York, NY

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) is a non-profit organization that seeks to preserve the architectural heritage and cultural history of several neighborhoods of New York City: Greenwich Village, the East Village, the Far West Village, the South Village, Gansevoort Market, and NoHo. Since 1999, GVSHP has operated from the Neighborhood Preservation Center, the former rectory of St. Mark’s Church, on East 11th Street, and it is considered one of the premier advocacy groups in the city.

In recent years, GVSHP has received numerous honors and mentions in preservation and real estate circles,[1] from the Preservation League of New York State's Excellence in Historic Preservation Award for organizational excellence in 2007,[2] to Executive Director Andrew Berman's inclusion in the The New York Observer's "The 100 Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate" in 2008.[3]

GVSHP's current roster of projects includes educational outreach in the form of public lectures, tours, exhibitions, and publications; a school program that teaches children about Greenwich Village history and architecture; preservation leadership on such issues as preservation of the South Village; preservation projects that promote an understanding of the Village’s historic importance, such as the Greenwich Village Preservation Archive and Oral History Project; consultation services on a wide variety of preservation issues, with GVSHP serving the community as historian, educator, archival resource, and technical consultant.[4]

GVSHP also publishes "The Anthemion," a biannual newsletter detailing the status of its advocacy projects.[5]

History and past projects

GVSHP was founded in 1980 as the Greenwich Village Trust for Historic Preservation (GVT). In 1982, Regina Kellerman, a prominent architectural historian and co-founder of GVT, was named as its first executive director, and GVT moved its operations to the Salmagundi Club at 47 Fifth Avenue. In 1984, GVT changed its name to the current one, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

Throughout the 1980s, GVSHP initiated research on the history and architecture of Greenwich Village, including subjects like the Gansevoort Meat Market (a joint study with Columbia University), Bleecker Street, Broadway, and maritime history of the Greenwich Village waterfront.

In 1991, GVSHP launched its first educational program, “Greenwich Village: History and Historic Preservation,” as a joint effort with the Merchant's House Museum, and, in 1995, designed and published a 12-page children’s workbook, “Discovering Greenwich Village,” for distribution to children in the school program.[6] The education program has since been expanded to include field-trip style walking tours of Greenwich Village, encouraging students to examine the architectural form of Greenwich Village as a manifestation of its social history and context.[7]

In the mid-1990s, GVSHP initiated an oral history project to document the experiences of Village preservationists of the twentieth century, many of whom were involved in defeating Robert Moses's Lower Manhattan Expressway. The participants in the oral history project include famous Village residents such as Jane Jacobs, Edwin Fancher, and Doris Diether.[8]

Landmarks designation efforts

Although a large portion of the Village was designated in 1969 as part of the Greenwich Village Historic District, many buildings outside of the district’s boundaries do not have landmark status conferred upon them. In the past few years, GVSHP has led successful campaigns to designate much of the area as landmarks or new historic districts. [6]


  • 128 East 13th Street designated
  • East Village/Lower East Side Historic District designated
  • South Village Named One of NY State’s “Seven to Save"


  • East 10th Street Historic District designated
  • Westbeth declared an official City landmark


  • GVSHP celebrates its 30th Anniversary
  • 1st third of South Village Historic District designated


  • Far West Village rezoning
  • 3rd & 4th Avenue Corridors rezoning
  • Westbeth added to State & National Register of Historic Places



  • Greenwich Village Historic District Extension
  • Weehawken Street Historic District



  • Hamilton-Holly House, 4 St. Marks Place
  • 127 MacDougal Street
  • 129 MacDougal Street
  • 131 MacDougal Street



Recent honors and awards


GVSHP’s Executive Director Andrew Berman was recognized by the Observer in 2008 for work in standing up to overdevelopment within Greenwich Village and its environs. Among the list of real estate developers, financiers, brokers, and government officials, Berman was the only neighborhood preservation advocate chosen to make the list of the “100 Most Powerful People in Real Estate.”


  • The Preservation League of New York State's Excellence in Historic Preservation Award

Of GVSHP, PLNYS said, “The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation’s efforts to build grassroots support, and to monitor and inform the decisions of New York City agencies should serve as an inspiration to other preservation organizations. GVSHP recently achieved a number of preservation goals that for decades had proved elusive. From the implementation of measures to protect the historic buildings and character of the Far West Village and Greenwich Village waterfront, to the designation of the Gansevoort Market Historic District, once-endangered buildings are now protected.”


  • The Village Voice's “Best Greenwich Village Defender” in “Best of NYC 2006”

The Village Voice writes that “It’s been a big year in the push to preserve the Village, thanks largely to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. The group’s vigilant director, Andrew Berman, has exhibited a knack for stopping 'out of context' buildings from sprouting up on quaint, historic streets, despite the red-hot development pressures."

  • New York Magazine’s “Influentials 2006”

New York Magazine says of Berman, "He persuaded the City Council to stop a spate of 'out of context' buildings in their tracks. Now he’s taking on NYU, determined not to let the university take over the neighborhood in its expansion.”

The NYLC established the Lucy G. Moses award to "recognize the property owners, builders, artisans, and designers who renew the beauty and utility of New York City’s distinctive architecture."

Current projects

GVSHP lists the following areas and buildings among those for which it seeks to obtain landmarks status:[9]

Historic districts

These are the designated historic districts that fall within GVSHP's purview, followed by the year in which they were designated in parentheses:

See also


External links

  • The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
  • Lower East Side Preservation Initiative
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